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Film Fest reports

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Film Fest reports

Postby Ducatista » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:19 am

We're four films in. So far, so good.

Loved A Somewhat Gentle Man. No surprise, as I like Stellan Skarsgård and I'm a sucker for muted-palette Scandinavian films.

Loved Bill Cunningham New York. Could be my favorite biodoc ever. Best audience moment of the Fest so far: a collective hiss as David Koch briefly appeared on screen.

Liked The Stool Pigeon. Classic Hong Kong cop action stuff. Had one big laugh, but other than that I enjoyed it more visually than narratively.

Would've enjoyed Outcast a whole lot more if I'd understood more than 30% of the dialogue. Heavy accents + muddy sound = got the gist but not much nuance. Still, good late-night fare.

Fest director Meg Hamel's intros to our three Thursday films made me wonder if there were bigger-festival scouts in the audience this year. Light on the welcome-and-thanks-to-all-our-volunteers, heavy on her obsession, her process, her hard work. Made the fest seem like strictly a one-woman show—which it may be, but a little imperial We would soften the delivery.

But that's just my weird quibble. As always, I'm loving the fest, and huge thanks to Meg Hamel and the rest of the Festival faithful.
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Re: Film Fest reports

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:08 pm

Night Train to Terror

Can't say it was a great movie, but it was fun to watch.
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Re: Film Fest reports

Postby Ducatista » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:36 am

Loved Tilva Roš, a slice of Serbian low-rent-Jackass-style-skate-punk life in which the actors play themselves. Really small audience, and a much older crowd than I expected. But then, I'm old, and I enjoyed it. Great coming-of-age drama. I hope it gets a bigger crowd at tonight's Play Circle screening.

Loved How I Ended This Summer. Tense, beautiful, brooding, stark, funny, Russian. I wish the woman who introduced it hadn't felt the need to give a detailed plot synopsis ahead of time. Half the fun for my husband is having no idea what he's about to see. I like researching the movies ahead of time, and even I found the clumsy summary annoying. The movie plays again at 7pm on Sunday at the Stage Door. If you're still looking for a Fest ender, I highly recommend it.

Had high hopes for Marwencol, and it exceeded my expectations. Guy works through the aftermath of personal trauma via the incredibly detailed 1/6 scale WWII-era Belgian town he's imagined and brought to life in his backyard. Great Biodoc #2 for WFF11.

Venue note: I used to avoid the Bartell for screenings, but now it's one of my favorite theaters. Small, comfy, good screen, decent concessions, including wine & beer.
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Re: Film Fest reports

Postby Ducatista » Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:16 pm

12 down, 1 to go. Didn't mean for this to be My Film Fest Diary, but now that I started, I may as well finish.

Octubre. Peruvian dramedy. Loved the palette, the pacing, the mood. And **sort-of-spoiler alert** love that the Vega brothers didn't focus-group the ending.

Medal of Honor. Our obligatory Romanian pick. Dark, funny, sad, lonely. Perfect.

Shut Up Little Man. It was great seeing this found-audio documentary right after having rented Winnebago Man. Lots of laugh-out-loud moments, but plenty of uncomfortable ones, too.

Summer Pasture. Gorgeous documentary about a family of nomadic herders in Tibet. Much more personal than I expected. Also unexpected: the daily deadline pressures. Even out on the Tibetan plains, people are ruled by the clock. Oof.

The only letdown so far: Night Shifts, a doc about people working/surviving at night in Berlin. The write-up made it sound beautiful and revelatory, but for me it fell short on both counts. Could be I'm the wrong audience—I love walking in cities late at night, so I didn't feel the movie opened my eyes to anything new. And it might look better on an HD TV with really good blacks. On the Bartell screen, brightened by the glow of the exit lights, the night scenes were disappointingly washed out.
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Re: Film Fest reports

Postby depinmad » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:50 pm

color me obsessed - loved it, but it would probably be hard to make a mats movie i wouldn't be engrossed by. the sound and picture at the chazen were superb, best i've ever seen at the fest.
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Re: Film Fest reports

Postby Ducatista » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:39 am

That was on my short list, sorry I missed it. Maybe Four Star will have it.

Our 13th & final movie was Boy. Hopeful kid, idolized but rascally father, hilarity, heartbreak... good stuff. A fine capper to WFF11. Makes me want to see more from writer/director/actor Taiki Waititi.

Wonder what the venue landscape will be like next year. Memorial Union's out, I hear, since it'll be under construction. They're adding Union South, which seems like a geographical stretch, though not as bad as the Hilldale year. I wish the Fest would suck it up and rent the Majestic again. LOVED seeing movies there.
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Re: Film Fest reports

Postby jjoyce » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:24 am

Haulin' Ass: One of my favorite docs in years. Very nicely edited and accomplished what a lot of docs don't/can't, which is stitching together a narrative arc that provides suspense. The guys in the movie, including the dude from La Crosse who was at the screening, were a lot of fun. Hard to believe the guy who made it can't get it into other fests. Maybe it's not artistic enough.

Blood Hook (Muskie Madness): Hilarious spoof of '80s slasher flicks, perfectly built for a Wisconsin audience. The problem is that some people thought they could attempt their own Mystery Science Theater 3000 and chit chat through the whole thing. You can do that in an empty theater, but not in a packed room at the Film Fest. Shut up, already.

Everyday Sunshine: The Fishbone movie: About a half hour too long, this one seemed like they worked really hard on keeping the first half tight and then either ran out of steam or money. The last half focused way too much on the weird relationship between Angelo Moore and Norwood as Fishbone continues to try and keep itself relevant without most of its original lineup. But the story of how the band got together and functioned as a true democracy during the '90s was a blast. Saw this with my 12-year old son who is starting to explore music a little and he loved it. We had a great talk about band breakups and how friendships can fall apart.

Color Me Obsessed: I watched this at home a few weeks ago on a screener, but saw that Ben liked it. Amazing that I was also captivated by what is essentially a two-hour series of interviews with middle-aged white guys talking about how awesome things were back in the day. Maybe that' s unfair, but this was a documentary about the Replacements featuring zero footage of the band, zero interviews with guys in the band and zero music from the band. That's a recipe for disaster, but I loved it. If you don't care about the Replacements, you might not feel similarly. But if you do, you probably need to see this movie.
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Re: Film Fest reports

Postby Detritus » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:02 pm

Parking: 2008 Taiwanese film about (on a surface level, anyway) a guy who gets parked in while buying a cake for his wife, and then spends the next 24 hours or so trying to get on his way. In the process he gets tangled up with a botched kidnapping, murder, cross-border prostitution, mafioso, fine gentlemen's tailoring, fish head soup, and a six-year-old girl. Excellent mix of humor and pathos, shot in a gritty, realistic style by a Taiwanese director better known for TV commercials.

Le Amiche 1955 Michelangelo Antonioni film set in Turin with a bevy of actresses playing, mostly, women with nothing better to do than intrigue after each others' men. Newly restored print, very sharp, great performances, and interesting to see Turin still rebuilding after WWII. The lead character, played by Eleanora Rossi Drago, deserved more international recognition than she ever got, overshadowed by Sophia Loren as she was.
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Re: Film Fest reports

Postby mrak » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:03 pm

jjoyce wrote:Color Me Obsessed: I watched this at home a few weeks ago on a screener, but saw that Ben liked it. Amazing that I was also captivated by what is essentially a two-hour series of interviews with middle-aged white guys talking about how awesome things were back in the day. Maybe that' s unfair, but this was a documentary about the Replacements featuring zero footage of the band, zero interviews with guys in the band and zero music from the band. That's a recipe for disaster, but I loved it.

I missed this one, unfortunately, but your description reminds me of Cinematographer Style, which I saw at the fest a few years ago. It's 80+ minutes of interviews with a who's-who of cinematography.

Several minutes in, I realized I wasn't going to see a single example of any of their work (unlike, say, Visions of Light). Several more minutes in, I realized I was fascinated by it anyway.
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Re: Film Fest reports

Postby depinmad » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:13 pm

the director of color me obsessed was there for a q & a, and he was a bit of a douchebag, but he made some good points about the choices they made not to include the band or their music. for rabid fans, you can hear the songs in your head the whole time anyway, and for people who haven't heard the music, it's cooler for them to go out and discover it for themselves anyway, the way most of us did to begin with.
I also think that it made sense for a replacements doc, as I remember how stingy they were at the time with revealing themselves or making live performances available. they kept themselves out of their videos, and clubs they played that had in house video monitors always had to shut them off for their performances.
Also, Here Comes A Regular appeared on the album, Tim, but I had to wait four more tours and twelve live shows before I got to hear it live.
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Re: Film Fest reports

Postby indiefilmfan » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:38 pm

I was enjoying all the comments until I got to this one:
depinmad wrote:the director of color me obsessed was there for a q & a, and he was a bit of a douchebag, but he made some good points about the choices they made not to include the band or their music.


C'mon! This guy made a brilliant flick. Not just by my account but by many others including your own. Not sure exactly what constitutes a "douchebag" in your opinion but I find it ironic that you resort to name calling one minute and quote him the next. Seemed like a genuine 'Mats fan/movie geek who's much more comfortable behind a camera than standing in front of a crowd. Had a chance to talk one-on-one with him, thought he was a pretty interesting guy. Anyway, if you're a Replacements fan, see the movie, it's great!
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Re: Film Fest reports

Postby indiefilmfan » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:38 pm

depinmad wrote:the director of color me obsessed was there for a q & a, and he was a bit of a douchebag, but he made some good points about the choices they made not to include the band or their music.


I was enjoying the comments until I got to the above one as posted by depinmad. This director made a brilliant flick which clearly you, and many others, enjoyed. I find it ironic that you would make such a disparaging remark and then go on to note the "good points" he made. I found the director to be a 'Mats fan/movie geek and someone who seemed more comfortable behind the camera than addressing a crowd regarding his work.
I was able to speak one-on-one with him and found him to be a pretty interesting guy.

Like many film fans, I'm always up for a good debate on the merits of any film. I just feel strongly against using forums such as this as a platform to make insulting remarks against individuals.

I tried to post a similar comment yesterday but it does not seem to have been approved. I apologize to the moderators for any confusion.
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Re: Film Fest reports

Postby depinmad » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:49 am

indiefilmfan wrote:
depinmad wrote:the director of color me obsessed was there for a q & a, and he was a bit of a douchebag, but he made some good points about the choices they made not to include the band or their music.


I was enjoying the comments until I got to the above one as posted by depinmad. This director made a brilliant flick which clearly you, and many others, enjoyed. I find it ironic that you would make such a disparaging remark and then go on to note the "good points" he made. I found the director to be a 'Mats fan/movie geek and someone who seemed more comfortable behind the camera than addressing a crowd regarding his work.
I was able to speak one-on-one with him and found him to be a pretty interesting guy.

Like many film fans, I'm always up for a good debate on the merits of any film. I just feel strongly against using forums such as this as a platform to make insulting remarks against individuals.

I tried to post a similar comment yesterday but it does not seem to have been approved. I apologize to the moderators for any confusion.


You are right that it was unfair of me to label the guy a bit of a douchebag without actually going into specifics of why i thought that way.

First off, i didn't think he was at all uncomfortable in front of a crowd. he seemed perfectly adept and at home conducting the q&a. but the things that rubbed me the wrong way were:

1. his total trashing of don't tell a soul. to first announce that you don't believe in god but you do believe in the replacements and then go on to denounce that album as completely worthless strikes me as douchey and ill considered.

2. his seemingly disingenuous answers about why he interviewed who he interviewed and why he avoided other interviews. his overall thrust was that it was a documentary about the fans and so he avoided the band and other insiders like peter jesperson, yet the finished product is 75% insiders and critics and 25% fans. Plus he interviewed Bob Stinson's widow, but seemingly had no interest in other spouses or parents of the band. I just didn't buy his justifications and found myself wishing he had come clean and admitted he got who he got and then other potential interviewees said no.

that's all. i loved the film and thought he did a really nice job. but i also think he's living in a fantasy world if he thinks he's gonna find a dvd distributor willing to turn it into a three disc set.
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